Mecum Kissimmee 2012 – Auction Report

Mecum Kissimmee 2012 – Auction Report Page Three

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Lot # S235 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N J59S103093; Engine # F1231CU; Snowcrest White, Silver Coves/Turquoise vinyl; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $83,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $87,980 -- 283/270hp, dual quads, 4-speed, Positraction, WonderBar radio, spinner wheel covers, wide whitewalls. Thorough but disappointing older restoration. Good paint with minor chips on the hood corners. Good chrome and interior. Engine is right but dusty and with minor fluid seepage. Represented as numbers-matching. This is a healthy price for the condition of this Corvette.

1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Lot # S237 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194676S105557; Engine # T1102IP 6105557; Blue/Blue leather; White vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $117,500 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $124,550 -- 427/425hp, 4-speed, transistor ignition, P/B, P/S, Positraction, AM-FM, off road exhaust, centerlock alloy wheels. Fresh, clean restoration to like new condition, NCRS Top Flight judged. (Does that mean "winner"? Not exactly.) As good as it gets and bought for an appropriate price.

1992 Ferrari 512 TR

Lot # S238 1992 Ferrari 512 TR; S/N ZFFLG40A7N0090023; Corsa Red/Tan leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $90,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $95,400 -- Assembly #7730. Engine out service four years and 1,500 miles ago. Ferrari luggage. Very clean for its age, with unblemished paint and virtually new interior. No Reserve. This Ferrari is, visually at least, virtually new. The engine-out service is growing some hair and will probably need to be repeated soon if the car is going to be driven, a potential expense that significantly increases the new owner's investment and makes this result all the money that the car could hope to bring.

1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO

Lot # S272 1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 237375Z130891; Engine # 633307 WT; Burgundy/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $33,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $34,980 -- 389/335hp, 4-speed, AM-FM, buckets and console, Hurst shifter, wood grain steering wheel, P/S, P/B, Rally wheels with trim rings, red line radial tires. PHS documented GTO with a good older cosmetic restoration. Originally a 3-speed with an AM radio, both of which come with the car. Good paint, chrome, interior and engine compartment. Shows a little age and use. This GTO, despite its PHS documentation, suffers from several issues, not least of which is the lack of any representation it is matching numbers. The 4-speed conversion doesn't exactly help, either, but along with the added power steering and power brakes makes it a much better driver. It was appropriately handicapped by the bidders in Kissimmee.

1959 Plymouth Sport Fury Convertible

Lot # S276 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury Convertible; S/N M293105311; Bronze Metallic/Bronze vinyl, Black cloth; White cloth top; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $78,500 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $83,210 -- 361/305hp, Automatic, P/B, P/S, swivel bucket seats, armrest console, pushbutton radio, chrome wire wheels (original wheels and wheel covers included), pushbutton radio. Long displayed and recently freshened to near like new condition except for the old sound deadener. Good paint, fresh chrome, good new upholstery and dash. Engine compartment is like new, right down to the frame. The wire wheels are unnecessary, but with the original wheels and covers included the car can be put right. There aren't many Plymouths like this around, especially at auction, and this one stood out for its quality and presentation. The seller should be very satisfied with the price it brought.

1981 Ferrari 512 BB

Lot # S290 1981 Ferrari 512 BB; S/N F102BB38385; Black/Cream leather, Black stripes; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $95,000 -- A/C, Alpine cassette, 215 front, 225 rear Michelin tires. Grey market car imported by Raymond Peloso. Bad old repaint over old paint, lightly worn, clean interior, soiled but not grungy chassis and engine. Exactly 18,002 miles showing and stated to be from new and engine out serviced in 2009. A good car looking for a home. Sold by RM at Monterey in 2000 with 10,013 miles and offered by Mecum in Kansas City in December, the paint job is awful and the car should have been loose and selling at $70,000.

1972 Honda N600

Lot # T030 1972 Honda N600 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N AN6001056309; Green/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $16,500 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $17,490 -- 600CC, 4-speed. Very good paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new. With Isettas and Messerschmitts bringing mid-five figure prices it's about time someone caught up to the fact that the early, tiny, Hondas and Subarus are as cute, more reliable and just as rare. The restoration of this N600 sparkled and the new owner got every bit as much car as the money that changed hands for it. It's a star.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Lot # T188 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194677S107228; Marina Blue, Black vinyl hardtop/Blue vinyl; Black vinyl top; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $235,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $249,100 -- 427/435hp, 4-speed, alloy wheels, narrow whitewalls, F41 suspension, AM-FM. 2011 Bloomington Gold Benchmark and NCRS Top Flight. 53,516 miles. Represented as matching numbers. Good original paint, chrome and interior. Better than many of the "nut and bolt restored" cars in Kissimmee. It really is impossible to fault this big block Corvette and its exceptional condition and originality. While the bloom is off the big block Corvettes' rose, the opportunity to acquire such a pristine example with quality documented by the definitive experts is not to be missed, and the Kissimmee bidders were up to the challenge. This is a curve-setting transaction for a standard setting Corvette and full value for the money.

1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO Convertible

Lot # T232 1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO Convertible; S/N 237675K142713; Engine # 713738 WT; Red/Parchment vinyl; White vinyl top; Unrestored original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $53,000 -- 389/335hp, 4-speed, 3.55 Saf-T-Track, Rally wheels, trim rings, red line bias ply Firestone non-DOT tires, buckets, no console, Hurst shifter, Rally gauges, pushbutton radio. Sound but chipped, checking and buffed through original paint. Good chrome and original interior. Torn original top, good boot cover. A very sharp and desirable original LeMans GTO, PHS documented. This GTO has loads of potential and really needs nothing more than some top repairs. The paint and interior are usable as is and redoing them would only detract from the car's value. It's a real find and deserves every penny of the premium price it brought.

1965 Pontiac LeMans Convertible

Lot # U129.1 1965 Pontiac LeMans Convertible; S/N 23567S243580; Engine # 289376 YD; Ice Blue/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $22,500 -- 389/290hp block from a Catalina or Grand Prix, column shift automatic, cassette stereo, aftermarket wood trim steering wheel of the Pep Boys variety, Rally wheels, red line tires, P/S, no P/B, hot rod fuel block. No documentation. Fair repaint, decent chrome, rattle can engine compartment, old interior with squishy, squeaky springs, pitted chrome trim. A Le Mans Custom convertible with dubious GTO trim in appropriately dubious condition. Not surprisingly passed by the Kissimmee bidders.

1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Super Cobra Jet Fastback

Lot # U150 1970 Ford Mustang Mach I SCJ Fastback; S/N 0T05R116145; Grabber Green/Black vinyl; Modified restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $53,000 -- 428/452hp, 4-speed, Drag Pack, 3-point competition belts, powder coated engine, transmission and axle, Jet Hot coated exhaust and headers, MSD ignition, Magnum wheels, Radial T/A tires. Restored better than new, and not particularly authentically. This would be a better car without the modifications, and a more valuable one, too. Still, it looks great, the (correct original) color is in your face and it's going to turn some heads on the street when it is let loose. It's not for everyone, but is a thrilling performance package for someone who cares, and that someone was in Kissimmee.

1974 Chevrolet Vega

Lot # W269 1974 Chevrolet Vega; S/N 1V77B4U242508; White/Olive vinyl, cloth; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $6,000 plus commission of 8.33%; Final Price $6,500 -- Automatic, factory A/C, buckets, floor shift, hubcaps, trim rings, narrow whitewalls. Original paint except for a repaint on at least a portion of the rear hatch. Good original interior and chrome. One owner and 33,372 miles from new. Mecum categorized this Vega as a 'STAR' consignment. Its originality, low miles, one owner history and factory A/C warrant the description, but it's still peculiar to hear a Vega called a 'STAR'. It's hard to argue with the price it brought.

1963 Shelby Cobra Dragon Snake

Lot # S220 1963 Shelby Cobra Dragon Snake; S/N CSX 2093; Fuscia Metalflake/Black leather; Competition restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $850,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $901,000 -- Good but unimpressive paint. Sound chrome, good interior. An older restoration to nearly like new condition that appears to have been static displayed since. 289 V-8, four Webers, hardtop, chrome paperclip rollbar, wire front wheels, wide centerlock alloy rear wheels with drag slicks, long tube headers ending in short side-mounted pipes. AACA Senior winner, restored to like new condition (and better than it ever was when making dragstrip passes in the mid-11's.) Dragged for years, a consistent winner driven by Bruce Larson when owned by Jim Costilow and later for Ed Hedrick. "The winningest competition Cobra in history." Sold by Mecum here a year ago for $875,000 hammer, $927,500 with commission, then offered at Monterey in August with a reported $825,000 high bid. A significant Cobra, but not on a par with the Shelby road racing team cars, this transaction is consistent with its other appearances, a remarkable consistency of opinion for a specialized Cobra.

1929 Gar Wood Miss America VIII

Lot # S239 1929 Gar Wood Miss America VIII; Incomplete restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $700,000 -- This boat's appeal lies in the twin Harry Miller V-16 engines built for Gar Wood. They now run on a rank of Holley 4-barrels with their original pair of Schwitzer-Cummins Roots superchargers and primary manifolds on a pallet. Twice winner of the Harmsworth Trophy. Hull wood is good, decking is new. No blower drive, shafts or vee-drives. A semi-finished restoration project. There is an immense amount of engineering, design, casting and fabrication work left to be done to return this Gar Wood legend to its original configuration, let alone tuning and development. It could be running on the water with somewhat less effort, but would be pale shadow of its potential. It will be a brave and deep-pocketed buyer who steps up to take it on.

[Source: Mecum]


  1. Chris G. Evans says

    Rick: I just discovered you and of course, signed up with the Digest. Love your writing style and the information you give us. Question: 1. Why do you think new records are being set for the number of cars in the auctions? What is driving this increase? 2. Who is buying these cars? What percent do you think are dealers who only buy and sell at auctions and what percent are individuals who actually want to own and enjoy a classic car?

    I thank you in advance for the answers and look forward to reading more of your observations.

  2. Rick Carey says

    1. I’m a little uncertain over the exact question, so let me answer both interpretations:
    1a. If the question is why are there a record number of cars and auctions the answer is that car collecting, and therefore the market for collector cars, is growing rapidly. I think the auctions themselves are aiding in the hobby’s growth both by offering lots of cars and by highlighting the diversity and affordability of them.
    1b. If the question is why are there so many records the answer is that there is immense liquidity in today’s economy both in North America and overseas. Individuals see collector cars, particularly the very best cars in exceptional condition with excellent histories, as fun ways to employ (or park) some of that liquidity while opening up a whole lifestyle of activities from weekend cruising to exclusive concours and tours for participation. This is a society, like it or not, that craves experiences and a week on the California Mille or weekend at the Amelia Island Concours is definitely an experience.
    2. The presence of dealers is the life’s blood of any market, whether it’s real estate, financial instruments or corn. They provide the liquidity and the medium through which individuals can reliably count on turning an asset into cash. They are important factors in the collector car auctions both as buyers and as the under-bidders who make sure no car sells for an unreasonably cheap price. The dealer component, as both buyer and seller, varies widely with individual auctions and is impractical to quantify in generalities, but it’s probably somewhere between 10 and 30 percent.
    Dealers also frequently acquire cars with unrealized potential, the neglected or poorly prepared cars in dated colors which they can transform with mechanical and cosmetic attention into something an individual will feel more confident buying. Keep in mind, too, that dealers who buy at auction and re-sell add statutory warranties to every car they trade, warranties an individual collector won’t get at the auction where the only warranty, as Jim Cox at Branson puts it is, “50-50: if it breaks in half leaving the block, you own both halves.”
    The important factor to keep in mind, also, is that there is a distinct difference between dealers — who buy and sell on their own account — and speculators who buy in anticipation of market gains.
    My observation in recent years is that most cars are being bought by individuals, or end up passing from the auction through a dealer’s hands to individuals. That is borne out by similar observations from others who are in a position to observe the flow of cars through the marketplace.
    It gets a lot more complicated (and convoluted) than that, but that’s enough for now.

    Rick Carey

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